Help! Where Am I? I’m Lost!

A TTC subway train at Warden station.

Image via Wikipedia

It was a cold gray late afternoon in New York City. 

 I was on my way home from a student teaching assignment in an unfamiliar part of Brooklyn.  Leaving the school, I quickly walked to the subway station and boarded the train that would take me home.  As the train pulled away from the very next stop, I realized that the name of that station was not one I recognized.  Now I watched carefully as the train pulled into the next few stops.  More unfamiliar names!  A sick feeling formed in the pit of my stomach.  I had gotten on the wrong train! 

I must admit that I panicked.  I got off at the next stop.  Instead of finding a uniformed security person and asking which train I should board to return to the right route, I ran up the subway stairs, hailed the first cab that passed by, gave him my address and sat back, heart pounding. 

It was an expensive lesson…the cab ride cost me $10 and that was A LOT of money in those days…but I did get home safely, so I guess it was worth it.

Have you ever been lost?  Maybe there was a detour and you found yourself driving around and around, wondering which road to take.  Perhaps you went for a hike on a park trail and meandered off to look at some interesting rock formations or a bunch of wild flowers and now you are not sure which way to go to return to the main path.

Many young children also worry about getting lost or separated from those they love.  Although we want to encourage curiosity and independence, we are responsible for keeping our children safe from harm.  Teaching your child his name, address and phone number, and what to do in case he is ever lost is very important and will enable him to feel more confident about his own ability to deal with such a situation.  Reassure your child that you will always find him, no matter what…this will contribute to his feeling of safety.

You can also help children talk about their concerns by reading picture book stories that address the issue of getting lost.  While you read the story, a window of opportunity for discussion opens…so please take advantage of it.  Here’s one story suggestion on that topic:

ANGUS LOST written and illustrated by Marjorie Flack

This is a classic in children’s picture books.  The copyright date is 1931 and the illustrations hearken by to a bygone era.  That might be part of the charm of the story and you and your child can have a wonderful conversation about how milk was delivered in the olden days. J 

Angus, a little terrier, is bored with his home and yard and he decides to see what the world is like.  After several scary adventures, Angus wants very much to go home, but he cannot find his way.  He spends the night hiding in a cave, trembling in fear the entire time.  In the morning, he hears the familiar sound of the milkman’s horse and wagon and he eagerly follows them from house to house as the milkman makes his deliveries.  Finally, Angus recognizes his very own yard and is relieved to be home at last.

After you read the story and talk about it, perhaps you and your child would like to make some “real” butter. 


You will need: 1 cup heavy whipping cream, electric mixer and a large bowl.

1.     Pour the cream into the bowl and beat on medium until stiff peaks are formed (about 2-3 minutes).  This is REAL WHIPPED CREAM!!! 

2.     Continue beating (4-8 minutes) and you will see the curds separate from the whey.  You can sing “Little Miss Muffet” with your child while you are doing this and do the finger play later.

3.     Pour off the whey and you will be left with a lump of pure butter.

4.     Enjoy with crackers, bread or toast.

5.     Put the leftover butter in a covered container and store in the refrigerator.

6.     Instead of using the electric mixer, you could put the cream in a glass jar with a lid and shake…but this will take 5-30 minutes…and everyone’s hands will be tired.

Stop by tomorrow for another story suggestion and activity from my book.  And I’ll tell you about the time I spent SIX HOURS reading Little Women while my mother and half the staff of a major New York department store searched for me.


6 thoughts on “Help! Where Am I? I’m Lost!

  1. I can imagine how frightened you were. You however are braver than I am as I don’t think I’d even ride on a train in a subway station. I’ve watched too many movies 🙂
    Your point is very valid that a parent or caregiver should always have a conversation with a child on the possibilities of being lost and what to do.


  2. What a scary story… I don’t like getting lost when I drive, let alone on the train. It’s fortunate that you got a taxi right away…
    It’s an important conversation to have as we all know of tragic events that have occurred… Very impt subject for sure. 🙂
    Such wonderful, practical lessons for parents here!


  3. I can’t find a button to follow your site so I am subscribing to it instead. Lots of great info here. I have been discussing this very topic with my children and have found some great books you might be interested in. I homeschool my kids but even so I want to make sure they understand about safety, talking to strangers, emergencies and getting lost. I have talked to them about this many times but it does need constant reminding. I will be giving full reviews about them on my site over the weekend on my blog at
    The titles about getting lost are; Lost by David McPhail and Where are you? by Francesca Simon. I will be letting everyone know where to get them and what the books are about. Thanks for the posting.


    • Hi Renee,
      If you still want it…the button for my blog is on the top left sidebar. Thanks so much for subscribing to my posts. I hope you enjoy them and find them of value. 🙂
      I am subscribing to yours and I’m looking forward to reading all of your reviews.


  4. Pingback: The Grandma Chronicles: The Aborted Sleepover « Positive Parental Participation

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